The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

On July 31, Fitch Ratings announced that Covia once again has been given an A- rating with a stable outlook. Covia first received an A- rating in 2017.

Covia benefits from its diverse operating profile, high occupancy rate, and favorable debt position. According to Fitch’s report, “Along with a sophisticated and centralized management structure, the community’s revenue diversity offsets credit risks relating to operating volatility, competitive pressures and actuarial risk.”

The report also states, “The Stable Rating Outlook reflects Fitch’s expectation that operations will improve over the next year and maintain profitability levels that are in line with Fitch’s ‘A’ category medians.”

“We are on target when it comes to taking care of our residents and employees by having a solid, financially sound organization,” says Mitzi Hyland, Covia’s VP of Finance and Corporate Controller. “Being investment grade says it all about our leadership and staff.”

Covia’s President and CEO Kevin Gerber praised “the entire Covia team for this great outcome in these extraordinary times.”

As well as evaluating Covia’s current financial situation, Fitch took into account Covia’s intention to affiliate with Front Porch, which is rated A by Fitch. “Although the recent announcement of Covia’s affiliation with Front Porch Communities and Services is still pending regulatory approval, if approved, Fitch views the strategic move could further diversify Covia’s revenue base and market reach.”

Fitch Ratings is an international credit rating agency, used as a guide to help lenders and investors evaluate which investments will not default and subsequently yield a solid return. Fitch is one of the top three credit rating agencies internationally, along with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

On July 2nd, Fitch Ratings affirmed the A- rating on Covia’s revenue bonds, with a rating outlook of “Stable.” Covia first received an A- rating in 2017.

“Covia benefits from its size and scale with five full service retirement communities located in desirable locations throughout Northern California, with a total operating revenue base of nearly $150 million,” Fitch reports. “Along with a sophisticated and centralized management structure, Covia’s revenue diversity offsets credit risks relating to operating volatility, competitive pressures and actuarial risk.”

After the February decision by the Covia Communities Board to proceed with the closure of Los Gatos Meadows,  Diana Jamison, Covia’s Chief Financial Officer, immediately reached out to Fitch to provide them with details. “They appreciated our transparency and proactive response and requested specific information. Fitch then scheduled a formal surveillance process to review our rating given the impact of the closure,” reports Kevin Gerber, CEO.

During the surveillance meeting, which takes place every two years, “We demonstrated that we are a strong, healthy organization, even given this temporary closure of Los Gatos Meadows,” says Jamison. The Fitch report demonstrates that “they had faith in management and had faith in the strength of our financial performance.”

“Fitch understands our industry better than any other rating agency,” says Jamison. To be able to maintain Covia’s A- rating feels “Awesome. I don’t even know how to explain it any other way.”

“I’m proud of the fact that we’ve been able to maintain our financial strength. It says a lot about the organization.”